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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Sharapova Outlasts Venus in Miami

ReutersSharapova showing her relief at coming through an error-strewn match against Venus Williams in Miami on Sunday.
MIAMI -- Maria Sharapova rallied from a set down to defeat Venus Williams 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 as the top four women's seeds advanced to the fourth round of the Sony Ericsson Open on Sunday.

The second seed survived a tough encounter against her unseeded American rival, who had won their last meeting at Wimbledon two years ago, coming through an error-strewn match in which the pair combined for 25 double faults and 91 unforced errors.

Joining Sharapova in the final 16 were compatriot and defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova and Belgian pair Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin.

Fifth-seeded Martina Hingis was the highest-ranked casualty of the day, however, the Swiss former No. 1 falling 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to 17-year-old Pole Agnieszka Radwanska.

Henin's victory was made more remarkable as the second seed recovered from a 5-1 deficit in the final set to defeat Virginie Razzano 6-2, 2-6, 7-6, with the Frenchwoman twice just two points from a win.

"I came back from nowhere, almost," Henin told reporters.

"It's when I was down 5-1 in the third set that I finally was calm for the first time in the match."

Fourth seed Clijsters continued her farewell tour with retirement looming later this year after her marriage, claiming a victory over Australian Samantha Stosur 6-4, 6-2.

Third-seeded Kuznetsova also enjoyed an easy win, beating Jelena Kostanic Tosic 6-4, 6-2.

Hingis, titleholder in 1997 and 2000, produced 43 unforced errors and missed 14 of 20 break point chances.

Hingis said: "I just wasn't able to pull it off today. It's been like that the last three, four weeks. I'm getting tired of losing matches which I'm supposed to win.

"I need to recharge my whole body, and mostly my head."

Men's second seed Rafael Nadal advanced to the fourth round after Belgian opponent Olivier Rochus withdrew with a foot injury.

Two-time French Open winner Nadal is making his fourth straight appearance at the tournament. His best result came in 2005, when he lost a tense final to Roger Federer in five sets.

Third seed Andy Roddick advanced to the last 16 with a workmanlike 6-4, 6-4 win over Gilles Simon of France, and he was joined by Paul-Henri Mathieu, who stunned Chile's Australian Open finalist Fernando Gonzalez 6-3, 7-6.

"I'm not hitting the ball as well as I want to, but I'm still finding the ways to get through matches," Roddick told reporters. "It definitely wasn't a pretty win out there.

"With the wind it's tough to find your rhythm. I have a lot that I can improve on before the next match."

Britain's Andy Murray stretched his run of good form with an easy 6-3, 6-1 win over lucky loser Robert Kendrick, who entered the field when Lleyton Hewitt pulled out.

The 19-year-old Scotsman, who retained his San Jose crown last month, was only last year facing criticism for his hot-headed approach, his hangdog demeanor on court and his noisy self-criticism when things weren't going well in a game; but Murray has matured this year into a steadier player.

"My game's been going pretty well this year, so whatever I'm doing on court I'd like to think is more my tennis," he told reporters. "I'd say I'm pretty close [to a breakthrough]."

Murray's victims this season include top-10 threats Tommy Haas, Nikolai Davydenko and Andy Roddick.

"The ones I haven't beaten [Rafael Nadal, Ivan Ljubicic and rival Novak Djokovic] I've lost close matches to."

"I'm close to the top 10. I'm 12th in the world, so I guess I'm getting close to it."